Computer-Generated Animation of Fluids: An Applied Math Perspective

Peter Mucha
School of Mathematics

Computer graphics researchers and animators have embraced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) over the past decade. After summarizing a number of successfully implemented CFD techniques, we examine two recently addressed problems in detail: approximating melting by variable viscosities, and computing interactions between solid rigid bodies and fluids. In the latter, the Rigid Fluid method is used to efficiently animate the interplay between rigid bodies and viscous incompressible fluids with free surfaces. This technique uses distributed Lagrange multipliers to compute two-way solid-fluid couplings, alternating between treating the solids as if they were fluid and constraining the motions of those regions to obey rigid body motion. The method---straightforward to implement and incurring little computational overhead---generates realistic motion for both the solid objects and the fluid as they interact with one another.

This talk will assume no detailed knowledge of fluid mechanics or CFD. Many movies will be shown. This talk represents work done in collaboration with Mark Carlson and Greg Turk.